We all know that reality TV is unavoidable at this stage of the game. You can't wear out the buttons on a remote control without stumbling upon a reality show on any number of basic cable channels, as well as the major networks. They're everywhere - they're taking over like Godzilla tried to take over Tokyo.
Normally, I avoid the majority of these so-called reality shows, but I did admit to being hooked on a few of them. What really burns my toast is the sense of entitlement these people seem to feel; the whole world should treat them like they're legitimate celebrities instead of average joes that got plucked out of oblivion by some lackie from MTV, VH1, Bravo, Lifetime, et al. They're even referred to as reality "stars", further legitimizing their status via categorization; like movie stars or television stars. I'm sorry, Kate Gosselin and those "real" housewives don't belong in the same category as Alan Alda or Mary Tyler Moore, or even John Ratzenberger, the guy who played Cliffie the mailman on Cheers. Now, they were stars.
What further twists my knickers is that these reality people actually think wearing wireless microphone pacs and being followed around by cameras is their job. Most of us don't have to deal with the hassle of trying to live life in front of a camera. Thank goodness. But, these people seem to revel in it. Why? Because it beats the hell out of having to go to work every day.
Having spent a good portion of my adult life as a corporate working stiff, I will admit that my return to academia in 1999 was a veritable paradise compared to the office jobs I held. I worked with quite a gallery of oddballs; from cookie cutter, Bonfire of the Vanities obsessed Connecticut WASPs, to a certifiable woman from Bensonhurst Brooklyn, who used to glam up every night for her sardine-packed ride home on the B train, and a Long Island co-worker I couldn't help but refer to as (never to her face), "Queen of the White Trash Kingdom". Yeah, it's all very snarky and judgmental, but from everything I've been told, the workplace has gotten exponentially more loony since I left. And I say with profound sincerity: you'd have to drag me back to it with a grappling hook in my mouth.
I'm all in favour of making an honest living. This blog is part of mine. If it wasn't for some pretty incredible circumstances, and a few extraordinary individuals, I wouldn't have this forum to share my thoughts. Life can be serendipitous, and it can be downright cruel. And there's no such thing as a free lunch. You get where you get by busting your ass; not teetering on a pair of 5 inch stiletto heels clutching a Blackberry and a thousand dollar handbag, or cruising around in a Land Rover looking for some rehearsed disaster to find you while the hired help tends to your children. That's not my reality. Is it yours?
One of my favourite lines Michael Douglas utters in the movie Wall Street, is: "This is your wakeup call, Buddy. Get to work." Gordon Gekko and Bud Fox's work wasn't at all legitimate, but I agree with the sentiment. Now it's time to get back to work.
Enjoy your weekend.